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Freeman's Blog

August 19, 2014

In a survey of Americans aged 45 and older, 57% described retirement as a new chapter in life, seeing it as an opportunity to explore new options and pursue their dreams. Many pre-retirees don’t envision a traditional retirement at all, but want to reinvent their careers by entering a new field of work.1

Retirement Planning and Expectations
Whether your own retirement is approaching quickly or remains a distant goal, it’s important to consider the lifestyle you want to attain. Clear planning and communication now could prevent disappointment down the road. Here are a few key aspects you might want to address.

When will you retire?

Your retirement age might be a moving target, but it helps to have an age in mind as you envision other aspects of your retirement lifestyle.

You and your spouse may want to compare how your claiming ages for Social Security could affect your lifetime benefits. There are advantages to working until your full retirement age (66 to 67, depending on birth year) or until 70, when you would receive your maximum benefit. If you want to retire earlier, you may need to be more aggressive in your retirement planning strategy.

Will you continue to work?

Although almost seven out of 10 current workers plan to work for pay in retirement, the experiences of current retirees suggest this may be more difficult than expected — only 25% report that they have worked for pay in retirement.2 A second career could be rewarding on both a financial and personal level, but you might be better off setting your retirement nest egg goals so that working is an option rather than a necessity.

Where will you live?

Some people downsize their homes to reduce expenses and add some home equity to their retirement nest egg. Or they may move to a more retirement-friendly community or somewhere closer to family. Others prefer to “age in place” and take advantage of having paid off their mortgages. These are all reasonable options. But as with the goal of working for pay, it’s generally wise to leave your home out of retirement money calculations.

What activities do you want to pursue?

You may want to travel, volunteer for an organization with goals you share, work on your golf game, take up tennis or pursue a new hobby. But keep in mind that some retirement activities are more costly than others so you must include the estimated costs of your retirement fun before you use it.

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM Whatever you imagine, it’s important to set money goals that reflect your retirement dreams and have the potential to help those dreams come true. To plan more effectively for your retirement, contact me for a free consultation.
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1) Yahoo! Finance, May 6, 2013
2) Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2013